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Selenium 1 Remote Control Plugin for Firefox 5 and 6

20.9.2011 | 2 minutes of reading time

Selenium is a powerful tool for web browser automation. As such it is an important component in many test set-ups for GUI or acceptance tests. It’s current version is 2, Selenium Webdriver. But many people still use version 1. Unfortunately the Selenium server (or remote control) plugin of version 1 does not seem to work with Firefox 5 or newer. On start-up, Firefox complains about the Selenium RC plugin being incompatible and disables it. We show here how the Selenium RC plugin can still be used in Firefox 5 or 6.

Fortunately, Firefox 5 and 6 are not really incompatible with the Selenium RC plugin. It is rather just a maxVersion entry in the install.rfd file of the plugin that makes Firefox believe so. It suffices to change this entry to get the plugin working again. But the file is not easy to find, because it is hidden somewhere in the Selenuim server.

Here is how to find it. First, locate the Selenium server, i.e., the file selenium-server.jar. Then extract all files from the jar. Under Windows I use 7-zip for doing so. I assume the files are extracted into a directory named selenium-server. Change directory to go to selenium-server\customProfileDirCUSTFFCHROME\extensions\{503A0CD4-EDC8-489b-853B-19E0BAA8F0A4}. Using your favourite editor open the file install.rfd. Replace the line
and save the file. Depending on your version of selenium-server.jar the actual name of the directory containing the Selenium RC plugin may differ from {503A0CD4-EDC8-489b-853B-19E0BAA8F0A4}. In this case you’d have to check all directories. The install.rdf files found therein contain informations what plugin they are for.

Finally the selenium-server.jar has to be re-created by zipping all files in the directory selenium-server. The resulting zip file has to be renamed to selenium-server.jar and moved in place of the old one. That’s it. The Selenium RC plugin will work again.

One may now ask why not use Selenium WebDriver. The answer is the two servers are not completely compatible. It takes a migration step to get from version 1 (RC) to version 2 (WebDriver). And it isn’t always possible to do such a migration step.

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